ottonova, based in Munich, has been an official member of InsurLab Germany since the beginning of April. We are very pleased about that. In the interview, Jesko Kannenberg reveals how ottonova was founded, what differentiates it from large insurance companies, how they envision working with InsurLab Germany, and what challenges and goals there are to contend with. 
How did ottonova come into being? What is your founding story?
We founded ottonova with the aim of establishing a health insurance company that assists policyholders at the cutting edge of technical possibilities and their realities and expectations in life. The mere fact that there was no start-up in the private health insurance sector for 17 years before us shows that the industry failed to seize many opportunities for a long time, such as technical and medical advances.
We provide our customers with an insurance offering that helps them immediately and without detours. In doing so, it was important to us that we not only build our rates and support offerings from a traditional insurance perspective. We all deal with digital products every day that set standards in usability and customer focus. Why shouldn't these advantages also apply to our dealings with insurance? We want to avoid paperwork, long waiting times and opaque structures - and use technological advances to create a customer experience that sets new standards.
What exactly is your business model?
The customer is unconditionally at the center of everything we do. What needs do they have and how can we meet them? In addition to high-performance insurance tariffs, we also develop digital service offerings in our app to make our customers happy. Every single employee works continuously to increase the satisfaction of every single ottonova policyholder - our measure of success. Another pillar of our work is the dialog with our customers. With regular feedback, we work ceaselessly on our services and processes so that we can offer even better services every day. After all, it is important to us that our customers are insured with ottonova for the long term and that they are consistently satisfied.
Only recently, for example, we improved our supplementary dental tariffs and the associated services, and immediately afterwards Stiftung Warentest named us test winner. And looking at the number of new contracts, we can already see that we are also convincing on the merits. We are very pleased about that.
Why did you decide to enter private insurance when there are already so many strong, established players in the market? What do you do better?
Unlike large insurance companies that are trapped in their outdated IT systems, we can work everything out from scratch using the latest technology. We use open source technologies and develop stable and highly scalable systems. This allows us to offer new solutions in a very short time, for which other private insurance companies need many times more time because their structures provide for longer change cycles. It is precisely this speed that our customers love. Thanks to our lean processes, for example, we can guarantee lightning-fast reimbursement of bills via the ottonova app - instead of waiting several weeks or months, this often happens with us in one or two days. 
InsurLab Germany is all about cooperation and collaboration in the insurance industry. How would you like to get involved here?
We firmly believe that we can only revolutionize the digital transformation in the German healthcare system if we do this together. We are therefore all the more pleased to be able to contribute our technological approaches for lean IT processes or automated workflows to the initiative and develop them further with the member companies. For this subarea, we are contributing the necessary expertise from our joint venture Global Scale Solutions, which is working intensively on new structures.
What do you hope to achieve by becoming a member of InsurLab Germany?
Although we have only been on board at InsurLab for a short time, we are already excited about the dynamism and openness that prevails here. We are very excited about the exchange with insurance companies on the insurance of the future, as well as with the other startups, so that we don't just talk about digitalization, but actually live it.
What challenges and goals will accompany you in 2019?
The year is all about market coverage. Through new sales channels and cooperations, we want to inform even more potential customers about the benefits of ottonova and prove that combining insurance and digitization is a step toward customer advantage. In parallel, of course, we will also continue to develop our digital services and ecosystems - we are currently working on direct pharmacy billing and an even easier appointment service for our customers to make medical appointments.
Where do you see the insurance industry in 2030?
In the future, even more technology trends from the industry will find their way into the healthcare industry and improve the care of insured persons. The topics of data and data processes alone already offer us an incredible amount of potential to better understand customers and treat them more individually. From Big Data to artificial intelligence to blockchain - I strongly expect that the insurance industry will also benefit from these innovation technologies in the medium term. Here, however, it is important that the political framework conditions are also improved quickly so that not only people but also their insurance can arrive in the future.
You can find further information on ottonova at the following Link